PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Legislation aimed at giving districts more say in school sports is now on the governor’s desk, but he plans to veto it.
Gov. Tom Wolf said he plans to veto the bill because he says school districts already have the final say on whether or not they’re playing sports. That's an argument State Senator Anthony Williams, a Philadelphia Democrat, made during the debate.
"Let's just be totally transparent for the public, this is about the power of the legislature vs. the power of the governor," he said.
But the legislation passed by a veto-proof margin with supporters like Republican State Rep. Todd Stephens from Montgomery County saying it ensures schools keep that final say, preventing what he calls broad, sweeping action from the governor.
"Unfortunately we’ve seen on occasion where the administration will just come in with some broad sweeping changes," he argued, citing when cases climbed in Pittsburgh and Wolf restricted restaurants across the state.
Stephens said he fully supports masks and other requirements to fight the spread of the virus, but hopes Wolf sees how much bipartisan support this bill has and signs it, rather than forcing them to override his veto.
Supporters also say it would allow schools to base the number of people who attend a sporting event on the size of the venue, or on a percentage of maximum capacity, rather than the governor’s current mandates of 250 outdoor and 25 indoor, as they note different schools have very different sized football stadiums.
Wolf fired back saying he would prefer the Republican majority take up issues such as funding for child care or small businesses.